I recently came across a new online magazine called Man of the House. I perused the site to see that it is:
“a guide for the jack of all trades trying to be better – at work and at home, as a father and as a husband. Men’s roles have changed in a generation. Fatherhood is different. Marriage is different. Careers and finances are different. Even the oil your dad taught you to change is different. Man of the House is about men helping other men become better men. We’re here for the man who wears a dozen hats and worries about losing his hair.”
I spent some time looking at articles ranging from “Calibrating a Meat Thermometer” to “What Does Your Wife Want From You?” As I was looking through the site, I could see that there is something for every modern man. It’s like they’ve read all the recent news stories about how fatherhood has changed, how manhood has changed, the new reality of men being just as likely to do laundry or cook dinner as they would be to mow the lawn or replace the oil in their car. The ads on the site run the gamut as well– Gillette razors to Tide detergent to Head & Shoulders shampoo.
Then I scrolled to the bottom of the page to see that the site was produced by Barefoot Proximity and P&G Productions. It turns out Barefoot Proximity is a digital eCRM (electronic customer relationship management) agency that seeks to “change individual consumer behavior” by “fusing our direct and digital expertise with our deep knowledge of consumer data.” P&G Productions, as you might know, sponsored the first radio “soap” operas in the 1930s and went on to produce such illustrious shows as Another World, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns. P&G, aka Proctor & Gamble, is of course one of the largest consumer products companies in the world and certainly a cutting edge marketing organization.
What can we conclude? A cynic might say we are being manipulated by a powerful marketing organization. I, a former marketer myself (and an optimist) am thrilled to see that “consumer data” is leading a the company behind such brands as Gillette, Tide, and Pampers to produce content targeted at modern men. In the same way that they produced soap operas for housewives of the 1930s through the early 2000s, their research shows that, in this decade, men are making many of these decisions and our “individual consumer behavior” needs to be changed as well!